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City Reminds Public About Tethering and Municipal Code Changes

City Reminds Public About Tethering and Municipal Code Changes

Date of Record: January 30, 2006

January 29, 2006
For more information contact:
Laurie Ringquist, Director, Animal Care and Control, City of Bloomington, 349.3870
Maria K. Heslin, Communications Director, City of Bloomington, 349.3596

Bloomington, IN -- The City of Bloomington is reminding citizens that the recently adopted changes to its municipal code regarding the practice of tethering are in effect. January draws special attention to the changes because it is recognized across the nation as Unchain a Dog Month.

Effective January 1, 2006, dogs may be tethered for no longer than 10 continuous hours, or a total of 12 hours in any 24-hour period. Additionally, tethers must be a minimum of 10-feet in length, weigh no more than 1/8 of the dog's body weight, and have swivels at both ends. Tethers must be attached to a properly fitting buckle-type collar, or a harness, worn by the dog, and must by design and placement, be unlikely to become entangled. 

"We're very excited that the Council passed the ordinance but it's only the first step," said Julio Alonso, Director of Public Works. "The next step in the process is to educate the public about the new code and what it is and how it affects them."

PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) sponsors January as Unchain a Dog Month to raise awareness of the potential hazards and inhumanity of chaining dogs.
The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) lends its efforts to get dogs off chains and into the homes of their human families. According to HSUS literature, "A dog kept chained in one spot for hours, days, months, or even years suffers immense psychological damage. An otherwise friendly and docile dog, when kept continuously chained, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious, and often, aggressive."  
The Bloomington code discourages the use of chains. However, if your dog(s) cannot come into your home full-time, there are a number of things you can do to improve their outdoor lives:

"One of the cruelest punishments for dogs is solitary confinement," said Dr. Jo Liska, Behavior Consultant/Community Outreach, City of Bloomington Animal Care and Control Department. "Dogs are pack animals, so it's important for them to be with others. Most people who chain dogs don't realize how much scratches behind the ears, games of fetch, and quality time spent inside with their families mean to dogs."
For more information on chained dogs and proper animal care, please contact Liska at 349.3873 or
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